Text: H.Con.Res.207 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (09/19/2007)

1st Session
H. CON. RES. 207


September 19, 2007

Received and referred to the Committee on Armed Services


Recognizing the 60th anniversary of the United States Air Force as an independent military service.

    Whereas President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 on July 26, 1947, to realign and reorganize the Armed Forces and to create a separate Department of the Air Force from the existing military services;

    Whereas the National Security Act of 1947 was enacted on September 18, 1947;

    Whereas the Aeronautical Division of the United States Army Signal Corps, consisting of one officer and two enlisted men, began operation under the command of Captain Charles DeForest Chandler on August 1, 1907, with the responsibility for “all matters pertaining to military ballooning, air machines, and all kindred subjects”;

    Whereas in 1908, the Department of War contracted with the Wright brothers to build one heavier-than-air flying machine for the United States Army, and accepted the Wright Military Flyer, the world’s first military airplane, in 1909;

    Whereas United States pilots, flying with both allied air forces and with the Army Air Service, performed admirably in the course of World War I, participating in pursuit, observation, and day and night bombing missions;

    Whereas pioneering aviators of the United States, including Mason M. Patrick, William “Billy” Mitchell, Benjamin D. Foulois, Frank M. Andrews, Henry “Hap” Arnold, James “Jimmy” H. Doolittle, and Edward “Eddie” Rickenbacker, were among the first to recognize the military potential of air power and courageously forged the foundations for the creation of an independent arm for air forces in the United States in the decades following World War I;

    Whereas on June 20, 1941, the Department of War created the Army Air Forces (AAF) as its aviation element and shortly thereafter the Department of War made the AAF co-equal to the Army Ground Forces;

    Whereas General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold drew upon the industrial prowess and human resources of the United States to transform the Army Air Corps from a force of 22,400 men and 2,402 aircraft in 1939 to a peak wartime strength of 2.4 million personnel and 79,908 aircraft;

    Whereas the standard for courage, flexibility, and intrepidity in combat was established for all Airmen during the first aerial raid in the Pacific Theater on April 18, 1942, when Lieutenant Colonel James “Jimmy” H. Doolittle led 16 North American B–25 Mitchell bombers in a joint operation from the deck of the naval carrier USS Hornet to strike the Japanese mainland in response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor;

    Whereas President Harry S. Truman supported organizing air power as an equal arm of the military forces of the United States, writing on December 19, 1945, that air power had developed so that the responsibilities and contributions to military strategic planning of air power equaled those of land and sea power;

    Whereas on September 18, 1947, W. Stuart Symington became the first Secretary of the newly formed and independent United States Air Force (USAF), and on September 26, 1947, General Carl A. Spaatz became the first Chief of Staff of the USAF;

    Whereas the Air National Guard was also created by the National Security Act of 1947 and has played a vital role in guarding the United States and defending freedom in nearly every major conflict and contingency since its inception;

    Whereas on October 14, 1947, the USAF demonstrated its historic and ongoing commitment to technological innovation when Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager piloted the X–1 developmental rocket plane to a speed of Mach 1.07, becoming the first flyer to break the sound barrier in a powered aircraft in level flight;

    Whereas the USAF Reserve, created April 14, 1948, is comprised of Citizen Airmen who steadfastly sacrifice personal fortune and family comfort in order to serve as unrivaled wingmen of the active duty USAF in every deployment, mission, and battlefield around the globe;

    Whereas the USAF operated the Berlin Airlift in 1948 and 1949 to provide humanitarian relief to post-war Germany and has established a tradition of humanitarian assistance in responding to natural disasters and needs across the world;

    Whereas the USAF announced a policy of racial integration in the ranks of the USAF on April 26, 1948, 3 months prior to a Presidential mandate to integrate all military services;

    Whereas in the early years of the Cold War, the USAF’s arsenal of bombers, such as the long-range Convair B–58 Hustler and B–36 Peacemaker, and the Boeing B–47 Stratojet and B–52 Stratofortress, under the command of General Curtis LeMay served as the United States’ preeminent deterrent against Soviet Union forces and were later augmented by the development and deployment of medium range and intercontinental ballistic missiles, such as the Titan and Minuteman developed by General Bernard A. Schriever;

    Whereas the USAF, employing the first large-scale combat use of jet aircraft, helped to establish air superiority over the Korean peninsula, protected ground forces of the United Nations with close air support, and interdicted enemy reinforcements and supplies during the conflict in Korea;

    Whereas after the development of launch vehicles and orbital satellites, the mission of the USAF expanded into space and today provides exceptional real-time global communications, environmental monitoring, navigation, precision timing, missile warning, nuclear deterrence, and space surveillance;

    Whereas USAF Airmen have contributed to the manned space program of the United States since the program’s inception and throughout the program’s development at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration by dedicating themselves wholly to space exploration despite the risks of exploration;

    Whereas the USAF engaged in a limited campaign of air power to assist the South Vietnamese government in countering the communist Viet Cong guerillas during the Vietnam War and fought to disrupt supply lines, halt enemy ground offensives, and protect United States and Allied forces;

    Whereas Airmen were imprisoned and tortured during the Vietnam War and, in the valiant tradition of Airmen held captive in previous conflicts, continued serving the United States with honor and dignity under the most inhumane circumstances;

    Whereas, in recent decades, the USAF and coalition partners of the United States have supported successful actions in Panama, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other locations around the globe;

    Whereas Pacific Air Forces, along with Asia-Pacific partners of the United States, ensure peace and advance freedom from the west coast of the United States to the east coast of Africa and from the Arctic to the Antarctic, covering more than 100 million square miles and the homes of 2 billion people in 44 countries;

    Whereas the United States Air Forces in Europe, along with European partners of the United States, have shaped the history of Europe from World War II, the Cold War, Operation Deliberate Force, and Operation Allied Force to today’s operations, and secured stability and ensured freedom’s future in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia;

    Whereas, for 17 consecutive years beginning with 1990, Airmen have been engaged in full-time combat operations ranging from Desert Shield to Iraqi Freedom, and have shown themselves to be an expeditionary air and space force of outstanding capability ready to fight and win wars of the United States when and where Airmen are called upon to do so;

    Whereas the USAF is steadfast in its commitment to field a world-class, expeditionary air force by recruiting, training, and educating its Total Force of active duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and civilian personnel;

    Whereas the USAF is a trustworthy steward of resources, developing and applying technology, managing professional acquisition programs, and maintaining exacting test, evaluation, and sustainment criteria for all USAF weapon systems throughout such weapon systems’ life cycles;

    Whereas, when terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, USAF fighter and air refueling aircraft took to the skies to fly combat air patrols over major United States cities and protect families, friends, and neighbors of people of the United States from further attack;

    Whereas, on December 7, 2005, the USAF modified its mission statement to include flying and fighting in cyberspace and prioritized the development, maintenance, and sustainment of war fighting capabilities to deliver unrestricted access to cyberspace and defend the United States and its global interests;

    Whereas Airmen around the world are committed to fighting and winning the Global War on Terror and have flown more than 430,000 sorties to precisely target and engage insurgents who attempt to violently disrupt rebuilding in Iraq and Afghanistan;

    Whereas talented and dedicated Airmen will meet the future challenges of an ever-changing world with strength and resolve;

    Whereas the USAF, together with its joint partners, will continue to be the United States’ leading edge in the ongoing fight to ensure the safety and security of the United States; and

    Whereas during the past 60 years, the USAF has repeatedly proved its value to the Nation, fulfilling its critical role in national defense, and protecting peace, liberty, and freedom throughout the world: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress remembers, honors, and commends the achievements of the United States Air Force in serving and defending the United States on the 60th anniversary of the creation of the United States Air Force as an independent military service.

Passed the House of Representatives September 18, 2007.

    Attest: lorraine c. miller,